G7 FMs Call for Punishing Everyone Responsible for Khashoggi Disappearance

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Wednesday Oct. 10 2018

Unnamed Turkish officials told CNN on Tuesday that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's body was "cut into pieces" after he was killed at Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate two weeks ago.

"We just went through that with Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I'm concerned", Trump told the AP.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and USA resident who became increasingly critical of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been seen since he walked into the Istanbul consulate to sort out marriage paperwork on October 2.

Over the past two days, Saudi Arabia has allowed Turkish police to search the consulate.

Turkish officials have said that authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, and have shared evidence with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Graham told host Brian Kilmeade that he won't be "going back to Saudi Arabia as long as this guy is in charge".

After news of Khashoggi's disappearance surfaced, global leaders and business executives have cut or have considered cutting ties to Saudi Arabia.

Members of the US Congress, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans, are among the loudest voices in the United States demanding answers and action on Khashoggi, who moved to Washington past year fearing retribution for his criticism of the crown prince.

To date, Saudi officials have strongly denied any involvement in his disappearance and say that he left the consulate soon after arriving.

Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling, outgoing chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said Washington might have to seriously review relations with Saudi Arabia if Riyadh was involved in killing Khashoggi. The diplomat had left Turkey, according to the official.

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The comment by the Turkish official to The Associated Press further intensified the pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi, who vanished October 2 while visiting the consulate to pick up paperwork he need to get married.

"My assessment from these meetings is that there is a serious commitment to determine all the facts and ensure accountability, including accountability for Saudi Arabia's senior leaders or senior officials", Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo next travels to Turkey to meet with officials there. "Answers will be forthcoming shortly".

Pompeo met first with King Salman, then twice with the crown prince.

"He's the 33-year-old prince who jumped over people". "We face our challenges together - the past, the day of, tomorrow". "I have to find out what happened", he said. I was on the floor every time defending Saudi Arabia because they're a good ally. "They buy apartments from me". They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? "I like them very much".

"Thank you for accepting my visit on behalf of President Trump", Pompeo said on meeting the king.

Trump quoted the King on Monday as saying that neither he nor his son, the crown prince, had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi.

Since the disappearance and suspected murder of Khashoggi, an exile last seen alive entering the Saudi embassy in Turkey's capital, however, Western business interests have begun withdrawing from the Future Investment Initiative.

Graham's comments came during an interview on Tuesday's "Fox & Friends".

If Washington has hatched a plan to try to save the Saudi family from worldwide pariah status by running the argument that rogue agents interrogated Khashoggi to the point of death, as has been reported in the U.S. media, it would have been discussed at this second meeting.

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